MANILA – Infidelity remains a relevant topic in the Philippines, with numerous television shows and movies depicting affairs in different forms.
The current talk of the town is the ABS-CBN primetime series “The Legal Wife,” with the show dominating Twitter trends locally and worldwide on Wednesday as Monica (Angel Locsin) realizes that her husband Adrian (Jericho Rosales) is cheating on her with her best friend Nicole (Maja Salvador).
Prior to her realization, Monica recalled details of Nicole’s past interactions with Adrian, which on hindsight appear to have clued her in on the affair.
Some of the signs of cheating, as shown in “The Legal Wife,” include secretive phone calls and text messages, difference in habits and behavior, and more time spent away from the partner.
In an interview with ABS-CBNnews.com during a press conference for “The Legal Wife” on Thursday, Locsin shared what she believes are the usual indicators that a person is unfaithful to his or her partner.
“Kapag ang asawa mo dala ang telepono sa banyo at maliligo medyo kakaiba nga naman. Hindi natin nilalahat – ang iba nagpapatugtog ng music or nagge-games, pero isa 'yon,” she said.
“Yung isa kapag may kausap sa telepono at biglang lumalayo, bakit ganoon? Kailangang lumayo kapag may kausap sa telepono?” she added. “Tapos 'yung nagsisimula nang maging malamig sa iyo at dahilan na nang dahilan.”
Locsin went on to say that some partners also tend to be “too sweet” to cover up their wrongdoings, which may include cheating.
“Tapos minsan sobrang malambing pag-uwi ng bahay para hindi mahalata,” she said. “Yung nagpapapogi, 'yung pabango nang pabango, kung dati di siya palagi naliligo ngayon ligo nang ligo at nagpa-powder, kakaibang kilos na 'yon.”
Why a partner cheats
In a previous interview, relationship expert Maribel Dionisio said infidelity can be caused by different factors such as peer pressure, cheating parents, insecurity, trust issues, lack of communication and addiction to sex.
She added that cheating may even be inevitable in a relationship if “the foundation is weak already to start with.”
A study published in the United States in 2010 found that money may also play a role in infidelity, noting that men who earn less than their female partner are more likely to cheat on her.
The study’s author noted that “making less money than a female partner may threaten men’s gender identity by calling into question the traditional notion of men as breadwinners.”
The case is different for women, however, according to the study. It showed that women who are breadwinners of the family are more likely to cheat as opposed to when they depend on their male partners for money.
Top 9 signs of cheating
In an article on About.com, relationship coach Cathy Meyer shared nine top signs that a man or woman is cheating on his or her partner.
Number one on Meyer’s list is when the spouse says “I love you but I’m not in love with you.”
“If you hear these words, a big warning bell should go off… Your spouse may have a deep, loving bond with you but intense feelings of passion can override the bond with you and cause your spouse to lose sight of his/her feelings,” she wrote.
Another sign is when a spouse starts spending more and more time with a person that he or she refers to as a “friend.” Meyer noted that the spouse “may feel they have a lot in common with this person, that this person understands them and the things they are going through,” and this closeness often ends up in something beyond friendship.
Meyer went on to mention the rest of her Top 9 signs, which include a sudden need for privacy, requesting more time and space alone or away from the family, change in regular work habits, spending a large amount of time in front of the computer, secretive phone calls and messages, behavior that just doesn’t add up, and your own fears and suspicions.
“If you find yourself looking for excuses for your spouse’s behavior or trying to convince yourself that they would never cheat then that is a warning sign. Your intuition is frequently one of the best indicators that something is wrong,” Meyer wrote.
How to prevent cheating partners
In a previous interview, relationship counselor Dr. Randy Dellosa said most couples tend to have problems in their relationship – including cheating – because they “keep in their emotions.”
“So they keep it in until one time mag-explode na lang sila. And by that time, it’s a point of no return,” he said as he stressed the need for constant communication.
(Click here for tips on how to communicate better with your partner.)
Dellosa went on to give general advice to prevent incidents of infidelity among spouses, or even couples who are not yet married.
Referring to an article earlier published in Yahoo! Asia, he said men and women need to give their partners enough breathing space as well as trust, love and care.
“They have to have their own activities, their own interests and own group of friends. So when they get together again, they can share stories, they can share kung anong nangyari sa buhay nila,” he said. – With a report from Reyma Buan-Deveza, ABS-CBNnews.com